by Randy Baker
Many people have a desire to be saved, and some of these same religious souls have chosen to rely on only a select few Scriptures for the basis for all their beliefs. I am sure you have heard it said that Jesus’ words are the only important passages – in other words, you only have to be concerned with the red-letter portions of your Bible to serve God. We are indeed blessed to have Jesus’ words for guidance so we can rightly serve God, but it is important that we ask “what would Jesus say” about the importance of the Scriptures written by the apostles. Would Jesus agree that only the red-letter portions of our Bibles are of critical importance?
When discussing the coming of His church, Jesus told his apostles, “and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18). This passage sure makes it sound like Jesus is placing critical importance on the things that the apostles would be saying and doing during the age of the church, the kingdom of Jesus. Here, Jesus says that the apostles’ teachings and examples were already authorized or “bound” in heaven.
Knowing that He would leave the apostles to return to heaven, Jesus did not leave their teachings and examples to chance. “These things have I spoken unto you, while yet abiding with you. 26But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you” (John 14:25-26). This was Jesus’ plan all along! He told the apostles all He could at that time knowing that much of it would be misunderstood and forgotten. But after His ascension back to heaven, Jesus would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to guide the apostles, teach them, and remind them of the things Jesus wanted done. The words of the apostles are certainly beginning to look very important.
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall bear witness of me: 27and ye also bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:26-27). Jesus again shows that the apostles would have the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter guiding them. This Spirit was coming to the apostles from the Father Himself.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you” (John 16:13-14). Jesus’ own words here tell that the apostles would declare to us the very things of Jesus! Jesus makes it clear that to heed only the red-letter portions of the Bible is to ignore Jesus Himself! We must heed what the apostles say, and we must follow the examples that they set for us. Their words and examples are Jesus’ message every bit as much as Jesus’ own words.
What would Jesus say about listening to the apostles’ commands and following their examples? What would Jesus say about the importance of those Scriptures written by apostles? Jesus has plainly told us that the apostles’ messages were not their own. They were proclaiming Jesus and God’s truths to the world. To obey the apostles’ instructions, and to follow their examples, is to follow Jesus’ own will. We dare not ignore their words.